We Don’t Need Another Hero…

I’m going to talk about my new novel, even though the first one is not yet published.  I’m tabling “Adam and Eve” for a little bit, because the timing doesn’t feel right to me.  I’m going to delve a little bit into plot, character development, tell you a little bit about why I have decided to do a typical “ADD” thing and change mid-course, but first I’ll give you a little bit (OK, a lot of background).

Storm From Movie Pilot.com

I love superheroes.  I have always loved superheroes, particularly the vulnerable ones.  The superheroes, who are imperfect, flawed, make mistakes, have missteps, have good intentions that sometimes go awry.  The problem is that every single one of the superheroes I love are men.  None of the female superheroes I used to watch in television and the movies were ones I particularly enjoy.  They always took a back seat to men.  Most of the women heroes in movies, television, etc are clones of men.  For example, Super Girl.  She is from the same planet as Superman.  She shows up on Earth, and does pretty much the same exact thing as Superman, except she’s a girl.  Same thing with Batgirl.  Wonder Woman is the only one that kind of breaks this model, but she came into being in the post-feminine era.  I’m not a huge fan, because ultimately she is still a “sex symbol” rather than a hero (that’s just my humble opinion).  The more complex super hero female characters are side characters– Storm (manipulates the weather), but she is often overshadowed by Wolverine, Cyclops, or Nightcrawler.  The women of the X-Men, who have the more interesting powers are the villains– Mystic (shape shifting is awesome) and Catwoman– a combination of the same bad ass skills as Batman, but killer costume and character added.

Princess Leia

Besides superheroes, as of late there have been many strong central female characters.  The first of these characters is Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”  I think about it this way, this woman was tortured physically and mentally, and still didn’t give up the location of the rebel base, despite her home planet being destroyed.  Another strong character I really appreciated was Hermoine Granger from “Harry Potter”.  Hermoine was unique in that she was far more talented and intelligent than her male counterparts, but she was a secondary character in the entire series.  Readers (and film goers) watched her (and Emma Watson) grow up in front of our eyes.  But in every novel and movie it was highlighted that she was a incredibly witch, and she was also amazingly smart.  Finally, one of my most favorite modern feminine hero is Katniss Everdeen.  Katniss, unlike Hermoine and Leia is a survivor.  She is kind, but she is also somewhat ruthless.  Everything she did she did for the simple reason that she wanted herself and her family to survive.  She volunteered for the reaping, so that her sister would survive.  When it was convenient she teamed up with Peeta, even though in the beginning she preferred Gale.

So when I set down to write my novel, I wanted a strong female character.  Unlike other superhero novels, comic books, and movies, this character was going to be the only character with super powers.  Like other superhero media, she is also has weaknesses.  Her experiences have tainted her existence.  When the reader is first introduced to her, she is a preteen child in 1910s in New Mexico.  She is vulnerable, because she is a child.  She has powers that she doesn’t understand, and she is just figuring out what she can do and how to do it.  I selected New Mexico as a setting, because it was the first military base I was stationed at.

The next chapter the reader is introduced to the my female lead’s caregiver from the “dimension” or planet they had originally come from.  I won’t go into how they ended up on Earth, but the setting of the chapter takes place in the 1920s near Biloxi, MS.  It is the height of Jim Crow, when the KKK was at its most popular, and there were also a record number of lynchings.  She looks at her male caregiver as a father figure even though he is not her father.  The main character should have aged 18 years between the first chapter and the second chapter, but she has not.  She does not age like others.  This aspect of the character is like one of my favorite heroes, Wolverine/Logan.


The following chapters follow the character’s development into adulthood.  She doesn’t age much between 1923 and the 2000s, though we learn her motivations.  The third chapter takes the character to Germany during WWII.  In a surprising turn is at a convent as an initiate.  After witnessing the holocaust in a very first hand account, this changes the character for both the better and the worst.  The fourth chapter and fifth chapter she works in a MASH unit in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.  In the sixth chapter she is in Kuwait as a pilot.  It is getting harder and harder for her to hide that she is almost 100 years old.  She becomes adept at stealing identities, and eventually shows her technical savvy.  But at the end of chapter seven she is discovered.

The seventh chapter reveals why her and her caregiver are here.  What her destiny is, and why her existence is significant.  It is the point where she has to decide whether she is a hero, or not.  I am only on chapter two, so much of the plot beyond this is in development.  I have outlined everything.  I have come up with settings and situations for this character.  I’m more than excited about this novel.  The story of this hero has been in my head since I was a 4-year-old sitting in a theater with my dad watching “Star Wars,” and now she is coming to life.  I can’t wait until you meet her, and discover the biggest secret and plot twist.

I finished my first novel in March 2015.  I decided to table the novel for a few month and work on this one after my dad died.  This novel is the one I was born to write, and it’s the story I have always wanted to write.  It is the one I have dream of being developed into a movie, or a television show.  I couldn’t stomach having this story in my head, and not even starting it.  So I did what every woman (and man) with ADD does, I stopped mid-stride an started something new.

Don’t Poke The Sleeping Lioness…


I took my son to the doctor and had two very different and very frustrating encounters there.  The first was in the waiting room, and this is a message to those parents, who think that because their child is typical that any child who is not perfect needs to be quiet.  Teach your children that everyone is different.  Ryan has deemed the doctor’s office an appropriate place to let loose with every Tourette’s vocal tics known to man.  He says them loud and proud.  So we enter the doctor’s office, and I start filling out the paperwork, and he starts in on his tics.  A woman with three children walks in. I’m guessing they ranged in age from 12 months to 5 years.  The 5-year-old decided he didn’t like Ryan’s tics at all, and told his mom, “Can you make him shut up?”  So she smiles at her special little snowflake, and looks at me with eye brows raised expectantly.  OK, note to non-Tourette’s parents the more you try to shut up a kid with Tourette’s, the LOUDER they get.  I raised my eyes back at her, and shrugged my shoulders, and said, “I would if I could, but I can’t, so you and your kid are going to have to have to deal with him.”  She huffed and complained of a headache, and I thought to myself, the world stops because you have a head ache.  You poor deluded young woman.  Sorry sweetheart, I wish I could help.  Take a Tylenol, pull up your big girl panties and deal with it.  Now, lovely readers, please note, this is a pediatrics office, it is not a 5-star restaurant or a store or any place where children are not allowed or frowned upon.  If it were anyone of those locations, I would happily remove my son, and attempt to make him quiet, but there are some places where he needs to feel safe to tic.  He gets nervous at the doctor, nerves make him tic more, so I allow him to vocalize.

Part two of my frustration is with the medical system in general.  I go in with my medical form, and I ask for a new medical waiver for immunizations.  Let me start by saying this– under absolutely NO circumstances am I stating that I believe that autism is caused by immunizations, so don’t even go there.  I actually believe that autism causes immunological reactions to vaccines– there I said it.  My son had TWO severe reactions to vaccines (because I didn’t learn the first time).  His first reaction was brain swelling, encephalitis, which is the reason we suspect he has epilepsy among other lovely disorders.  The second reaction was an allergic reaction– he swelled, and not just at the injection site, but his entire body was covered in welts, he was so swollen he had difficulty breathing.  The doctor told me that I would have to get a philosophical waiver, as those reactions are considered NORMAL.  Yes, you read that correctly– encephalitis and body swelling with welts all over is a normal reaction to shots.  Oh and I can easily get a philosophical waiver when I go to the health department.  I just need to lie through my teeth about my religion and the fact that my daughter is fully immunized.  And what happens when we move again, because by God, we are military and we will move again.  Well, not their problem, I should just suck it up and get the shots, as brain swelling is a normal reaction to shots…

Some day, some one is going to poke this lioness a little bit too hard, and I’m going to go batshit cray cray on someone, but until then…

I Am Retiring…


On June 18th, 2016 I will be officially semi-retired.  I am going to retire from running marathons.  I will be 40-years-old, and I figure if I don’t qualify for Boston by then, I won’t.  I say semi-retired, because I don’t plan on fully retiring.  I am literally working double time to lose weight and put my best foot forward in training for my “last” marathon, Grandma’s marathon.  Grandma’s will be my last 26.2 race, unless I qualify for Boston, then I intend on running Boston Marathon.

I say semi-retired, because I’m not giving up on endurance sports entirely.  Not in the least.  I have one more thing I have added to my endurance bucket list.  I said I would never do one, but I’ve change my mind.  I learned a valuable lesson the last few weeks and months.  I learned that you have one life, and to live your dreams.  Make goals and accomplish them.  Life is short and fleeting.  So I have decided that after I run my last marathon that I am going to dedicate myself to competing in Triathlons.

Not just any Triathlons, but Ironman Triathlons.  I watched one today, and realized that there are many people competing in this kind of sport that most would not see as triathletes.  My first goal after my retirement is to run a few sprints.  I plan on upgrading to Olympic distance, then eventually half Tris.  After I accomplish a few half Triathlons, I plan on signing up for an Ironman.  I hope to accomplish this before I turn 50.

I have no desire to run ultras, so Triathlons.  But first Grandma’s.  I have cracked the diet code.  I have discovered that I do really well eating small meals every few hours.  Everyone has their own body chemistry to overcome. In the last week I have dropped 5 pounds following these simple steps:

1.  Eat small meals throughout the day.

2.  Have 1-2 cheat days.

3.  Give up sweets and sodas (I have not been dedicated enough to give up my worst vice– wine).

4.  Move A LOT…  Today I burned over 1200 calories, and only 300 of those calories were actual running miles.

1.  Here’s my small meal schedule:

Meal 1 (AM): I eat/drink a protein shake*

Meal 2 (AM):  I have a small container of greek yogurt (it seems to help keep my gut in balance– I have a condition called leaky gut, it’s related to IBS)

Meal 3 (late AM): I eat/drink another protein shake*

Meal 4 (PM): A light meal– usually I eat a salad or similar meal.  My favorite is a Tomato Salad.  A friend of mine and I used to partake in these salads when we were both living in Germany.

Meal 5 (PM): A piece of fruit

Meal 6 (PM): A 400-800 calorie dinner

2.  In between each of those I drink a 16 ounce container of water.  In 4 days that I have done this.  I have lost 5 pounds.  Friday and Saturday are my “cheat days.”  I have allowed myself to have a little bit of wine and some additional snacks– tonight I’m going to eat popcorn while binge watching Harry Potter movies :).

3.  With exception of my last two cheat days, I have not had any soda or sweets.  I have found the best balance of fruits and vegetables to quench any cravings I have.  Salty crunchy cravings, I have a salad and add dried quinoa or lightly salted nuts to it.  Sweet cravings, I eat fruit, or dried fruit.

4.  Move A LOT.  Each day, I make it my personal goal to do my 10,000 steps (or 5 miles).  Most days that feat is accomplished through running, and a little bit of walking.  On my rest days, I still walk.  I started with Jillian Michael’s Body Shred, and I’ve found that that workout has help considerably with my strength and endurance.  I rarely sit down.  Today, I spent the day cleaning my room, which I do about once a season.  This morning, I ran 3 miles, walk another 2 miles, and then spent 3 hours deep cleaning.  I took a break cleaning, and did Jillian Michaels workout 4.  At 6:00 PM, I’m finally just now sitting down and relaxing.  I have learned that activity doesn’t just mean “working out,” it means moving.

Hopefully, these steps will help you as well….

* I use Isagenix Pro Natural Chocolate or Isalean Pro Chocolate for my protein shake.  I am no longer doing the Isagenix Cleanses.

Three Reasons I Had A Kid-Free Wedding


There is an on-going debate going online regarding inviting children to weddings.  I got married 18 years ago, and this debate was fore front during our wedding.  My husband and I have differing philosophies about children and weddings.  I don’t think kids should be at weddings, particularly evening weddings.  My husband disagrees.  Being the bride, I won (kind of) that argument.  There were children who attended the wedding, who were not invited, but they were not turned away either.  Here were my reasons for wanting a child-free wedding.

First of all, I am not a kid person.  I have children now, but back in the 1990s when I got married I did not care for children.  I didn’t want to be around kids.  My mom owned a daycare growing up, and I avoided children unless I absolutely had to be around them.  I had attended my friends’ and family’s weddings in the past, and had seen children running around, unsupervised.  The most poignant thing I remember is going to my cousin’s wedding months before my own wedding, and watching a child licking the frosting off of her cake.  I was in the midst of planning my wedding and I knew how much cakes cost.  I was horrified!  My cake was around $300, I would have been heartbroken if a child did that to my cake.

Secondly, Shane is a classically trained violinist.  He handpicked all the music that was played during our wedding.  We spent a lot of money on a string quartet.  I didn’t want the music we handpicked to be punctuated by crying children.  I didn’t want to watch the tape of my wedding and hear someone else’s kid crying.  I have a child with autism and Tourette’s, and I would not want him to do the same thing at someone else’s wedding.

Finally, my mom did daycare, she retired this year.  I have seen her at various events throughout my life where she has gone and the first thing that happens is someone plops a child on her lap, and walks away.  I am my mom’s only daughter.  I didn’t want her to come to her only daughter’s wedding, and end up taking care of someone else’s child.  It’s funny how many people assumes, because someone does daycare that they enjoy children every waking moment of their lives.  I didn’t want my mom, who worked hard to help me plan the wedding, to be someone’s childcare.  I wanted her to enjoy the wedding, and bask at how beautiful it was.

The reception hall and caterer did have a children’s meal, and I had no qualms about ordering a kids’ meal for the children in attendance.  Paying for a meal that would not be eaten was not the reason I didn’t want kids in attendance.  I wanted my wedding to be an adult affair.  Before calling someone out for being selfish, I think parents of children need to remember that not everyone wants our children around.